En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 03, 2010

From: Bryant, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Turf
Title: Native replacement for middle school lawn in AR.
Answered by: Stephen Scace

QUESTION:

I'm doing a project to help out our green middle school replace the grass in front of the school with something that stays short but is also native to the region. Can you recommend one that I can use?

ANSWER:

Briefly, Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) may work wonderfully as a native turfgrass for your school's front lawn. Buffalograss is native to much of Arkansas, mostly as a short bunchgrass occupying sunny niches among the giant grasses of the Tall Grass Prairie that once dominated the Arkansas River valley. It thrives in well-drained loam, clay, caliche, or limestone, but it does not do well in sand. More important, buffalograss needs full sun; it cannot survive in shade. It will bear considerable traffic, but it probably would wear thin if used as a playground. It should be mowed at least once a year to keep the sod dense, but most folks mow once a month or so to maintain a tidy appearance. Buffalograss seed, sod, and sprigs are widely available, so there is some flexibility in when you plant and how long it will take to establish a lawn.


Bouteloua dactyloides

You might find our How-To article Native Lawns: Buffalograss helpful.

It occurs to Mr. Smarty Plants that planning and installing a native-grass lawn might constitute a year-long teachable moment at a green middle school.

 

 

 

More Turf Questions

Live oak sprouts in lawn and flower beds
March 06, 2008 - I have several live oak trees that keep putting up sprouts in my lawn and flower beds. Is there any way to prevent this ?
view the full question and answer

Low sedge for lawn in Bakersfield, CA
June 19, 2009 - We have a small area for a lawn, but would like to get away from a traditional "lawn". Can you recommend a sedge grass that would act like a lawn (not much foot traffic)that can be mowed once in a w...
view the full question and answer

Blocking stolons of St. Augustine grass
July 25, 2008 - I have St. Augustine in my yard, and I am sick of edging the stolons that grow onto the sidewalk and driveway. Is there any way to stop the stolons or block them so that I can just mow and throw away ...
view the full question and answer

killing grass on 1 acre before planting Habiturf
March 04, 2012 - I have an acre of full sun lawn on a slight slope in Dallas - would the habiturf be appropriate & if so, how do I go about killing off the existing weeds/crab grass before installing? Removing 3 in o...
view the full question and answer

Acre-scale Grass Removal near Austin, TX
July 04, 2014 - How do I get rid of 10 acres of Kleingrass?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center